Boeing Completes 787 Factory Gauntlet Tests

Guy Norris/Los Angeles guy_norris@aviationweek.com

Boeing is ahead of schedule in its race to get the 787 flying by completing a factory gauntlet test, which evaluates all the aircraft systems during ground-based, closed-loop tests to simulate flight-like operations.

The gauntlet test was scheduled to be conducted in two main 10-hour blocks, with shifts covering tests from the early hours through to a switchover the same evening, but was actually completed late Monday, exceeding all expectations according to Boeing sources.

The daily rotation had been scheduled to continue for an undetermined period until Boeing was satisfied that all 92 main systems are working as required.

The factory gauntlet test, as its name suggests, was held indoors within the confines of Building 40-24, the 767 assembly line where the first aircraft, ZA001, is currently positioned. The aircraft was moved there several weeks ago to provide additional room for induction of follow-on test airframes onto the neighboring 787 line. Power for tests is provided by ground-based generators and batteries.

Following completion of these tests, the 787 is now being prepared for the next phase which is the intermediate gauntlet.

787 aft fuselage photo credit: Liz Matzelle

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